What is the Average Motorcycle Accident Compensation Amount in California?
If you’re hurt in a motorcycle accident, you’re probably aware that you may be entitled to compensation for the losses you suffer because of your injuries.
You may not be as familiar with the process for obtaining your monetary damages.
In short, your first step in most cases will be to file a claim with the responsible driver’s insurance company.
Many times, you’ll be able to resolve the matter through settlement negotiations rather than having to go to court.
As such, you will certainly wonder about motorcycle accident compensation amounts and how much you can expect to recover for your losses. The truth is that your settlement may vary significantly based upon your unique circumstances.
A California motorcycle accident attorney can provide more precise details, but you may benefit from an overview of the claims process and factors that affect the settlement amount.
How Compensation Works in California Motorcycle Accident Cases
The legal basis for motor vehicle crashes is a legal concept called negligence. To recover compensation, you must prove four essential elements:
- The other motorist had a duty to drive safely, so as to avoid creating a risk of harm;
- That person breached this legal duty by driving carelessly or recklessly;
- There’s a direct link between the breach of duty and the motorcycle accident in which you were injured; and,
- You suffered losses because of your injuries.
Some examples may be helpful in demonstrating how negligence works in a motorcycle accident claim. A motorist could be liable for paying compensation if he or she:
- Drives while under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Fails to yield to a motorcyclist;
- Improperly changes lanes, such as failing to signal;
- Runs a red light; or,
- Texts, talk on the phone or engages in other forms of distracted driving.
Filing a Claim with the Insurance Company
As mentioned, many motorcycle collisions are resolved without resorting to litigation because a victim can negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. Therefore, your first step in seeking compensation is preparing and submitting the necessary forms to the responsible driver’s insurer.
Though the process may seem simple, you shouldn’t expect payment of your claim in full, right away. This is because insurance companies are businesses, and they’re always looking for ways to minimize losses. The employee assigned to your matter will try to find reasons to reject your claim or make a low offer to resolve it.
Instead of dealing with the insurer yourself, it’s wise to retain a knowledgeable attorney. You could miss out on obtaining the average motorcycle accident settlement unless you have legal counsel to advocate on your behalf.
Factors in Determining Average Motorcycle Accident Settlement
Though it’s impossible to pinpoint exactly how much you can recover through settlement negotiations with the insurer, you can get a ballpark figure by reviewing some of the relevant factors. They include:
- Your medical costs, such as expenses incurred for emergency treatment, surgery, physical therapy, pain medications, transportation, medical equipment, care from specialists, and others;
- Lost wages, if you were out of work because of your motorcycle accident injuries;
- Pain and suffering;
- Scarring and disfigurement, which can be considerable for the victim of a motorcycle crash;
- Losses based upon how your injuries impact your personal relationships; and,
- Many more, depending on your unique circumstances.
Other Legal Issues Regarding Your Motorcycle Accident Compensation
In addition, you should keep in mind that there are other matters which could affect an average settlement for motorcycle accident. One is the California statute of limitations, which allows you two years from the date of the crash to file a lawsuit in court. If you don’t initiate litigation by this time, you’re forever barred from recovering compensation.
Another issue to note is that California follows the law of comparative negligence, which focuses on how your conduct may have contributed to the motorcycle accident. If you were responsible for the collision in any way, even partially, your compensation amount could be reduced. An insurance company may review your actions and make a lower offer if there’s evidence that you were also negligent in causing the crash.
Talk to a California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer About Settlement
While this explanation of motorcycle accident compensation amounts may be useful, but there are an almost-infinite number of considerations that impact your claim. To learn more about your legal options, please contact Starpoint LC, Attorneys at Law to schedule a complimentary case assessment.
One of our knowledgeable lawyers can review your circumstances and offer additional details about settlements.